Mackenzie Houston

Mackenzie Houston

Supervisor Westside Community Services

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
St. Francis Hall - St. Mary's Cathedral - Event Center

Unveiling The Flaws In San Francisco’s Response to The Drug and Homeless Crisis

PANEL MODERATOR:
Destiny Pletsch, MPA
Deputy Director, The Way Out, Salvation Army


∎ PANELISTS:

Steve Adami, MPA
Executive Director, The Way Out Salvation Army
Cedric Akbar
Director of Forensic Services
Cregg Johnson
Director TRP Academy, Westside Community Services
Mackenzie Houston
Supervisor, Westside Community Services
Tom Wolf
Recovery Advocate and Founder Pacific Alliance for Prevention and Recovery


 ∎ PANEL DESCRIPTION:

The panel confronts the escalating crisis gripping the city: the intertwined issues of drug abuse and homelessness, which have resulted in a staggering 3,300 fatal overdoses since 2019. Despite significant investments, public systems are failing, exacerbating street conditions, and eroding public trust while residents suffer. Common sense strategies are often overlooked, leading to tragic outcomes, including deaths within government-funded housing sites. The panel underscores the stark lack of equity in the city's response, particularly the marginalization of communities of color, who bear a disproportionate burden of the crisis. It stresses the urgent need to address the glaring pay disparities between non-profit workers and city employees. By centering equity, rectifying systemic flaws, and ensuring fair compensation, the panel advocates for a more just and effective approach to tackling this pressing challenge facing San Francisco.